It’s spring break for us so I’m with the boys in Orlando, visiting my sister. Of course, a big part of the draw of the trip was the promised visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
Because. . . boys.
We arrived at the park and raced through the streets, as quickly as our feet would carry us, straight to Diagon Alley. It was as magical as moments can get for 9 and 10 year old boys. The alley is an exact replica of the quaint and slightly creepy little town behind the wall in London. We excitedly made our way through the crowded cobblestone streets, peeking our heads in all the little shops along the way.
We were headed to Gringotts Bank.
The main attraction of The Alley is a steel roller coaster built inside a replica of the iconic bank from the Harry Potter stories. When we finally arrived, the wait was over 60 minutes. So we decided to continue our exploration further before we returning to wait and ride. The boys scoured Ollivander’s legendary wand shop, inspecting the minute details of every single wand.
We eagerly explored the park, eventually making our way out of the Wizarding World.
It wasn’t until nearly 6pm, I realized we hadn’t returned to Gringotts! (the park closed at 7) We raced back to the entrance of the iconic bank. Expecting to stand in a long, boring line, we instead found ourselves meandering through the fascinating bank lobby, lit by enormous crystal chandeliers. Creepy elf tellers manned the podiums, counting money and giving instructions. The intriguing line continued, disguised as a tour of the dark inner corridors of the bank.
It was incredibly realistic.
Needless to say, at the end of our full day, this began to spook one of my little munchkins. He started asking a lot of questions about the ride. Is it scary? How fast does it go? Is it pitch black in there? Is there a drop?
I tried to distract him, without success.
By the time it was our turn to board the car, he’d decided to bail. “I’ll wait at the exit. I will. NOT. GO!” Frantic, I looked to the kind woman who’d been paired to ride with us. With desperation in my eyes, I asked if she’d ridden before and if there was any way she could convince my baby it was fun and not scary. I swear.
She was an angel, right there in Gringottts spooky bank dungeon.
Her name was Jenny. She related to his LOVE of the Harry Potter stories. She told him how terrified she is of roller coasters and how she white-knuckled her way through the ride the first time, but now she can’t get enough. She told him about every twist and turn.
She told him she would hold his hand.
And away we went. It was all exactly as she described. He discovered a whole new world of fun and fascination on that ride. He was so thrilled, he can’t wait for more.
What if we all had a little more Jenny in us?
What if, the next time someone looks at you with those eyes of desperation, instead of offering the bare minimum, you give more? What if you share your story?
What if you offer to hold their hand?
You’d find a more peaceful, loving world.
You’d become the change you’re looking for.
to more love (& roller coasters!),